This report describes for 2021 the data-collection activities designed to fulfill the mandate of the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003, which requires the U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) to conduct for each calendar year a comprehensive statistical review and analysis of the incidence and effects of rapes in prisons.
The PREA mandate further specifies that this review and analysis must be based on a random sample, or other scientifically appropriate sample, of not less than 10 percent of all federal, state, and county prisons, as well as a representative sample of municipal prisons. PREA further requires the U.S. Attorney General to submit an annual report that lists institutions in the sample and ranks them according to incidence of prison rape. In fulfilling these PREA requirements, BJS developed a data-collection strategy that involves multiple measures and modes. This report addresses PREA data collections and developmental activities during 2020 and 2021. Features and collection activities are reported for various instruments involved in PREA-related data collections. These instruments include the National Survey of Youth in Custody (NSYC), which provides facility-level estimates of youth reporting sexual victimization in juvenile justice facilities; the National Inmate Survey (NIS), which collects data on the prevalence and incidence of sexual assault in adult prisons and local jails as reported by state prisoners and local jail inmates; and the Survey of Sexual Victimization (SSV), which collects data on allegations and substantiated incidents of sexual victimization contained in official administration records of U.S. correctional facilities. Procedures, upgrades, and modifications in these data-collection instruments are reported for 2020 and 2021. Titles of previously released PREA reports are listed.